• COMING SOON! -- Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition! Level up your 5E game! The standalone advanced 5E tabletop RPG adds depth and diversity to the game you love!
log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 4E 4E WotC way of saying your fired?


log in or register to remove this ad

Maggan

Writer of The Bitter Reach
SPECTRE666 said:
Also 1,000,000 people send WotC $10.00 a month to play MMOD&D, for one year. Think about it. Thats a lot of $.

I've thought about it. And I don't get what you're saying. The adoption of D&D Insider will in my mind be a fraction of 1 000 000. That just won't happen, at least not overnight.

And I don't think WotC is aiming at those numbers. They need to attract new players and keep a substantial percentage of old players.

So I seriously don't think WotC is sitting there saying "let's fire all our existing players, beause we can easily recruit 1 000 000 new players to D&D Insider."

What they might be saying is "we have to make choices that alienates a percentage of the existing players, so that we stand a better chance of recruiting new players."

It's a world of difference.

/M
 

Azgulor

Adventurer
Stereofm said:
Now the TRUE design flaw of 3.X ... you want to know it ?

It's an empty rules system with nothing to remember it by !

WhaddI meanby this ? People do not remember 1.0 because of the rules. They remember it because they were scared shitless in I6 : Ravenloft or because they slew Lolth in Queen of the Demonweb pits.

WOTC has kept publishing various rules supplements over the 3.X life, but the adventures were here only at the very end. Who has played them ? Did anybody ?

The source of fun for 3.X was DUNGEON. DUNGEON, yes. Made by ... PAIZO.
It's not a surprise to me that it was the first thing to eliminate to make way for their new line.

Between this and the not-so-friendly attitude of a lot of 4e "fans", I am convinced that I will not buy 4e or anything related close or far, but I'll stick by Paizo whatever their choices.

Thank you for all the good work, and excellent adventures guys.

I never had really thought of this before but I believe you've hit the nail on the head. Looking back over the editions, my players talk about those old adventures to this day. 2e was largely forgettable due to the fact that there were few stand-out adventures. When people talk about 3e, you frequently hear people talking about Shackled City, Age of Worms, the Freeport trilogy, Rappan Athuk, etc.

While 3e is my favorite rules set of D&D, it's not what enticed me to switch to d20-based games. It was the third-party publishers. I'd still be playing other systems if not for Mongoose's Conan, Green Ronin's Thieves' World & Freeport. Pathfinder is rapidly becoming my poster child for blending adventures & settings. WotC's biggest impact on my gaming? - Switching from GURPS to d20 Modern.

I still own a lot of WotC books and use them regularly. But based on how the 4e announcement/rollout has been handled thus far, I suspect I'm in the "ok if we fire him" camp. So Paizo, Green Ronin, Mongoose, and others will likely recieve my gaming dollars for the forseeable future while WotC may lose them all together.
 

Maggan

Writer of The Bitter Reach
Stereofm said:
Now the TRUE design flaw of 3.X ... you want to know it ?

It's an empty rules system with nothing to remember it by !

WhaddI meanby this ? People do not remember 1.0 because of the rules. They remember it because they were scared shitless in I6 : Ravenloft or because they slew Lolth in Queen of the Demonweb pits.

WOTC has kept publishing various rules supplements over the 3.X life, but the adventures were here only at the very end. Who has played them ? Did anybody ?

For me 3e will be remembered as the edition when the rules started to make sense. For my players, it will be my home-brewed Dungeon of Doom, which in our little nick of the woods has more nostalgia attached to it than the Tomb of Horrors. And it's pure 3rd edition.

Also, WotC's strategy with d20 was to create a playing field where other people could make great adventures. Seems to me they were at least partly successful since we have adventures such as Shackled City, Age of Worms, Rappan Athuk, World's Largest Dungeon and a bunch more.

And I'm gearing up for WotC:s own Red Hand of Doom, which I believe will be remembered as a classic 3rd edition adventure in due time.

YMMV, of course.

/M
 

DaveMage

Slumbering in Tsar
The whole "firing your current customer base" does have precedent, IIRC.

One of the miniature companies (Games Workshop?) essentially did this a while back. They came out with an entire new mini line that was not compatible with the old line. Apparently, this strategy *was* successful for them.

I may not have all the details correct, but Ryan Dancey posted about this in a thread here on EN World a while back. (Quite a fascinating read.)

From a business standpoint, it seems shocking that a company would do that, but loyalty to the customer sometimes takes a backseat to profit.
 

Gothic_Demon

First Post
SPECTRE666 said:
Also 1,000,000 people send WotC $10.00 a month to play MMOD&D, for one year. Think about it. Thats a lot of $.
Whilst I agree with other posters that this value is too high, think about this for a second:

HASBRO want to make money from D&D. Of course they do. They do that by producing new product. But, after a time, and the threshold is different for different gamers, new product no longer sells. So what to do?

Well, MMOs have a monthly fee. You pay it to keep your character ready for the next product (expansion), even after you've finished playing the stuff they've already done. In an MMO, that fee also lets you have another go, so HASBRO/WotC need to stick something else in with the fee to make it worth paying for. Thus, the DI.

Simply put: continuous revenue stream from D&D players and DMs, something that RPGs don't tend to produce in the way that MMOs, CCGs and the like do. This means keeping as many customers as possible and convincing them that $10 per month is a great subscription to pay for.

Because of this I really doubt that WotC is trying to 'fire' anyone, but the idea of getting rid of those gamers who won't use the DDI and replacing them with those who will, even 1-1, is something they'll see as quite a high priority.
 

an_idol_mind

Explorer
delericho said:
At the present time, it looks like I won't be switching to 4e. That being the case, the above would represent a 'best case' outcome for me. That it even represents a possible outcome is good news indeed.

While I haven't made a decision on whether or not I'll buy into 4th edition, nor do I think that Paizo dropping away from being fully compatible with D&D would be good for either WotC or Paizo, I'd enjoy seeing a 3.75-style game, too. I'd much rather see a tune-up to the rules rather than a reinvention.
 

mmu1

First Post
Glyfair said:
I'm a bit worried about Paizo if this statement is Erik's. If he truly doesn't understand the difference between playtesting a game and having a set of rules they can give to 3rd party publishers I have to be concerned about Paizo's playtesting of their modules.

I do find that hard to believe that he doesn't understand the difference. Maybe he was feeling a bit petulant at the time he wrote it.

I think you're missing the point.

The game is done, or close to it. It has to be - publishing schedules being what they are - and Erik probably knows it.

So the fact that WotC is making it a priority to conduct a PR campaign they're calling a "playtest" rather than providing any of the 3rd party publishers with information would worry me as well, if I was in Mona's shoes.

The alternative - that this "playtest" is the real thing, and the game actually needs it - would be really disturbing, with a May release date looming. It'd mean that the game is getting rushed out the door, and that never turns out well.
 

D.Shaffer

First Post
Erik Mona said:
If 4.0, on the other hand, is robust enough to emulate the kind of play we're all used to I'd much rather go with the "sure thing" and publish Pathfinder in a way that fully supports 4.0. I honestly trust and expect that 4.0 will allow us to do that, so my default assumption, to be frank, is that we'll convert whole hog to 4.0 at some point or another.

But I haven't seen the rules and I haven't seen the new OGL, and until I do I've got to keep our options open.
Is it me, or do people seem to be missing this particular bit of Erik's post? Airing your worries and actually expecting them to happen are two seperate things.
 

Doug McCrae

Legend
DaveMage said:
One of the miniature companies (Games Workshop?) essentially did this a while back. They came out with an entire new mini line that was not compatible with the old line. Apparently, this strategy *was* successful for them.
Games Workshop has a huge turnover in their customer base as very few keep playing Warhammer/W40K outwith their teens. So they've essentially 'fired' all their customers many times except it's more like the customers quit and they recruited a lot of new ones.
 

WayneLigon

Adventurer
It wouldn't have been all that bad an idea.

I would certainly think it would be easier to fire the existing customer base. No worries about sacred cows, conversion, unrealistic expectations, or cries of 'now you want me to buy everything all over again'. No having to include stuff from the past to mollify those who can't live without their Bigby or Mordenkainen or Nine Hells or Vancian memorization or whatever. For a designer, it would be heaven not to be shackled by the past, both it's successes (against which you'll be compared) and it's failures (which you'll be either expected to fix or leave alone because 'it ain't D&D').

Honestly, it wouldn't be hard. No significant amount of the gaming population plays a game that is not in print; for all the noise some seem to generate here.

I like 3E; it made D&D worth my time and attention again, for the first time in a long time. But it's always been my contention that 3E is the first in a series of steps along a road that will leverage the comparatively massive fanbase of D&D towards a more modern rules set with a minimum of disruption or significant loss of playerbase. I think 4E will continue that, and somewhere around 6E, we'll have what we should have had around 1995 or so.

Now, a lot of the evolution that would have - should have - naturally occurred, didn't. This came from D&D being run by a company that didn't listen to it's customers. Lorraine Williams doesn't shoulder 100% of the blame for this, either. Regardless of the blame, what's it led to is a wholly unrealistic expectation of stability - ten years between editions isn't a feature, it's a bug. In most other businesses if you did things exactly the same way you did them ten years ago you wouldn't be praised, you'd be fired. And rightly so.

Customers who expect the exact same things out of a company for 20 straight years deserve to be fired as well.

I wouldn't mind seeing Paizo create their own gaming system. I think that might, in the long run, be a good thing. It would certainly be vastly interesting to see what they'd come up with. But I think that they'll be provided the 4E rules just like other publishers will, and they'll convert just like the others will.
 

Imaro

Hero
I personally think Erik is voicing a concern I've had as well as far as 4e vs. 3.xe...There are alot of companies who jumped on the bandwagon with the d20 system. I can honestly say I think it was a good thing, but...I also think those same companies are realizing now(though an inkling of it came with 3e to 3.5e) one of the major drawbacks to participating in this. Basically you no longer control your publishing schedule, WotC does. I think alot of companies saw this with the very quick release of 3.5 wherein they had to restructure their products to fit a new rules system after only three years time. Now I doubt many companies enjoyed this shakeup and most probably expected a little more time with the 3.5 rules than has been given.

I think what we will see is a major chunk of good companies who supported 3.5 dropping out of the game. Many have alreaddy either published their own rules set (True20, Mongoose's Conan, Mutant's and Maserminds, Lonewolf, etc.), are purely "adventure" companies( which take less work to convert over, though this is dependant on how big the rule changes are.) or are now stuck in a sort of limbo on whether to update, create their own system or just drop d20 (Privateer Press with their excellent Iron Kingdoms setting is one of these.)

I keep hearing people talk about WotC having to make money...but so do the publishers who support their system(s), and few if any can afford to publish stuff at the rate WotC can. I honestly don't think the sales of 4e will be as good as 3e, and I think this is the major reason the online push has ramped up...it's a hedging your bets sort of thing. I haven't decided if I'll be switching over yet, it just seems trite and kind of unneeded for me and my group. I would, however, love if a company decided to publish a 3.5/3.75 update rulebook that addressed the major problems with the system.

In the end I feel there is no "perfect system" but I feel like in about two to three years after release we'll be talking about all the things that are wrong with 4e. What I'd love to see is WotC stick with a rules system and actually correct and modify the problems with it rather than jettison it for something else every time a new edition comes out. But then again it won't make as much money.
 

delericho

Legend
an_idol_mind said:
While I haven't made a decision on whether or not I'll buy into 4th edition,

My decision isn't quite set in stone at this point, but it's getting towards that point. There are three cases:

1) WotC retain Asmodeus as a god in the core rules. I don't buy 4e, or anything associated with it.

2) WotC change their minds about Asmodeus being a god. I buy the 4e core rules, and find them not to my taste, and so stick with 3.5.

3) WotC change their minds about Asmodeus being a god. I buy the 4e core rules, find them an improvement over the current edition, and so switch over.

At the moment, #1 looks like the most likely outcome. Based on what we've heard so far, #2 looks to be the next most likely, although there have been a number of things that have struck me as genuine and significant improvements.

If I switch over, I won't have any interest in anything produced for the old edition. If I don't, I won't have any interest in anything produced for the new edition.

nor do I think that Paizo dropping away from being fully compatible with D&D would be good for either WotC or Paizo,

Agreed. At the moment, Paizo are consistently producing the best support material for 3.5e D&D, so if WotC lost them that would seem to be a blow.

And, unless 4e is a total flop, I don't see it being financially viable to continue supporting 3.5e. Either the vast majority players will switch over, or the market will be split. In the latter case, it may well not be viable for any third party company to support any edition of the game. But I certainly don't expect 4e to flop.

However, if I don't switch, and if Paizo find themselves unable to use 4e for their third Pathfinder path, and if they find that it remains viable to continue to support 3.5, then that would suit me ideally. I really don't see it happening, though.

I'd enjoy seeing a 3.75-style game, too. I'd much rather see a tune-up to the rules rather than a reinvention.

I was actually hoping they would do more or less what they're doing. Some of the flaws with the existing game (multiclass spellcasters, level adjustment...) are such that the engine does need stripped and rebuilt to really implement fixes. Unfortunately, they haven't done it the way I would have done it. :)
 

Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
Erik Mona said:
Thereafter, we might release a "3.75" that smooths out some of the system's kinks and addresses some of the common complaints about it in a way that is respectful of the game's 30-year tradition.

But if the end result is something that is comfortable and fun and in the grand tradition of our favorite hobby, it might actually work.

I honestly trust and expect that 4.0 will allow us to do that, so my default assumption, to be frank, is that we'll convert whole hog to 4.0 at some point or another.

But I haven't seen the rules and I haven't seen the new OGL, and until I do I've got to keep our options open.

Pretty much exactly where my head is at.
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Eric Anondson said:
That gave me a whisky tango foxtrot moment as well. We've had, what, 3-4 weeks of outside playtesting of the rules, and he's publicly voicing worry that the third party publishers don't have the rules yet? They've only begun the playtesting. :confused:

Which, BTW, might be a significant source of worry right there. With the PHB looming, WotC should have begun playtesting a long, long time ago. Especially given the (apparently) sweeping nature of rules changes.

RC
 

WayneLigon

Adventurer
delericho said:
1) WotC retain Asmodeus as a god in the core rules. I don't buy 4e, or anything associated with it.

So, your entire 4E feelings are based on this one little - easily changed, almost insignificant - tidbit? I have to ask you how often will this particular thing impact your day-to-day play? Do people in your campaign run into Asmodeus all the time or have some long range plan for raiding his fortress and destroying him? Are y'all at the end of a 20-year campaign that somehow hinges around the current planar configuration and set in the Hells?
 
Last edited:


Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
Doug McCrae said:
Not buying 4e because they made Asmodeus a god is completely ridiculous.

Not if you feel that it is indicative of a more pervasive (and unnecessary) change of tone.

There are no additional concrete examples to give, so it makes perfect sense to use the only example we have handy.

Assuming of course his objection isn't simply on religious grounds, in which case he need say no more; but then I am sure you wouldn't mock someone's religion in an open forum.
 

delericho

Legend
WayneLigon said:
Honestly, it wouldn't be hard. No significant amount of the gaming population plays a game that is not in print;

So far. Of course, this is the first edition where the OGL has allowed another company to simply reprint the rules once the new edition hits, thus preventing the books from going out of print. That makes simply 'firing the customer base' extremely risky - new players joining any existing group will play what the group plays, and if that's not the latest edition, then they won't buy books.

I like 3E; it made D&D worth my time and attention again, for the first time in a long time. But it's always been my contention that 3E is the first in a series of steps along a road that will leverage the comparatively massive fanbase of D&D towards a more modern rules set with a minimum of disruption or significant loss of playerbase. I think 4E will continue that, and somewhere around 6E, we'll have what we should have had around 1995 or so.

Now, a lot of the evolution that would have - should have - naturally occurred, didn't.

If it's evolution, then there is no 'should have'. If the game wasn't fit to survive, then it would have died. Indeed, it nearly did, but for the actions of fan who had a lot of money.

However, what I really wanted to ask is: what do you mean by a "more modern rules set"?
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Wulf Ratbane said:
Not if you feel that it is indicative of a more pervasive (and unnecessary) change of tone.

There are no additional concrete examples to give, so it makes perfect sense to use the only example we have handy.

Assuming of course his objection isn't simply on religious grounds, in which case he need say no more; but then I am sure you wouldn't mock someone's religion in an open forum.


Thank you, Wulf. I was trying to think of a classy way to say the same thing, and utterly failed.

RC
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top